Beverly Gifford Vars-Emeritus
I grew up in a small town in Northwestern New Jersey, the eldest
of four. My sister and I enjoyed swimming and canoeing with our brother in the river in front of our home, but our real passion was riding, especially in horse shows. I competed in the equitation, hunters and jumpers and enjoyed foxhunting in the fall. When I was eleven, I was the first female to receive a driver license for Soap Box Derby competition after qualifying for the "Alternative National". Females were barred from racing in the Nationals in Akron, Ohio.
I attended Fairleigh Dickinson University in Rutherford, NJ and Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York, NY. I graduated from Newark Presbyterian Hospital School of Nursing in 1961. After a move to New England and marriage, my husband Lance and I had two daughters, Elizabeth and Hillary. During their childhood, I established my stable, Illyrian Walk. I also served as Field Master and Honorable Secretary to the Tongquag Valley Hounds for the life of the club. My daughters grew up riding and hunting as I did. I am now the proud grandmother of Finn and Noah!
I am a past president of the Rhode Island Horsemen's Association and am the Second Vice President of the New England Horseman's Council. For five years, I managed the CHJA Finals Weekend and served as Chairperson of the Rhode Island Equitation Championships for twenty years. I have been a member of the New England Equitation Committee and am the NEHC Liasion to the Stock Seat, Saddle Seat and Hunt Seat Equitation Committees.
My stable is now renamed Inlet Walk because of our view. It is a specialized training center located in Ashaway, RI. My husband and I are presently building our "dream house" on the Ashaway River. In my spare time, I write for the Massachusetts based Horseman's Yankee Pedlar and the Show Circuit Magazine in California.
I serve as the 2008 Past President and am currently a Director Emeritus of the Connecticut Hunter and Jumper Association.